Sunday, March 13, 2011

The allure of the hand written letter

I love getting mail. Period.  Even catalogues and some junk mail. Other than bills, finding things in my mailbox is like getting a present. Something new and mysterious to be savoured. And since the quality of my mail these days is rather sad, I've been looking into penpals.

I had penpals way back in secondary school and wrote to people in far off countries. And even now, in our internet age, people still want to write real letters to far off, or not so far off people, whom they've never met. Really. And I'm one of them. 

There are those who will consider people like me luddites, or anachronisms but when you get something personally addressed in the mail, a letter, card, post card, what have you, doesn't it make you feel rather special that someone took the time to let you know they were thinking of you? That they actually put effort in; had to write it, go get a stamp, mail it effort. What can make you feel more appreciated than a hand written thank you note?

Time is the most valuable thing people have. By sending a piece of snail mail, you've spent a little of that on someone and I personally think it counts a hell of a lot more than dashing off a quick email or sending a text. And you can't exactly draw something or otherwise embellish by hand an electronic communication like you can a piece of paper.

And besides, how else can you use fun and cool things like fountain pens, sealing wax and seals, pretty stamps and paper.....

Here's a few links for those interested in giving it a try.

Places to find penpals:
The Letter Writers Alliance
Good Mail Day Blog (post on call for penpals)

Sources for awesome stationery and pens:
In Vancouver, Paper Ya on Granville Island is fantastic. One of the few places locally to buy real writing paper. (from France, mmmm)
Etsy always has cool stuff
Perks, a really cool pen store on Cambie in Vancouver (the store is listed with others on this site)

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